The path a body takes while moving through space under the influence of the gravitational forces of other bodies

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tracking a satellite

The following article says that because the GOCE satellite has a polar orbit, it is impossible to track where it will land. "The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. ...
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152 views

Under what conditions, will a projectile motion follow a half circle?

What came to my mind is to throw an object far from the earth with a particular speed equal to $$V_{sat}=\sqrt{\frac{G\times M_{central}}{R}}$$like satellites. However, it would follow a full circle.
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80 views

Computing 2d Orbital Parameters

When using formulas that describe a 2d orbit around a planetary body: is it actually OK for the semi-major axis $a$ to be negative? when $a$ is negative, it is impossible to compute mean anomaly ...
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1answer
172 views

Determine if an object is in orbit

I am planning on doing a space simulation program with full physics and as part of a hack to avoid too many issues with number precision I was going to switch orbiting objects to a calculated orbit ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Elliptical orbits passing 2 points [closed]

I would like to find set of possible elliptical orbits which pass 2 points in plane. I was searching for some solutions in orbital mechanics texts but I didn't found any. There are several possible ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Where are the L3, L4, and L5 of a hyperbolic orbit?

Do the L3, L4, L5 points exist in hyperbolic orbits? If yes, then where do they lie?
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3answers
155 views

A satellite in orbit fires it's engines for a short interval. Is the new orbit closer or further away?

A satellite is in a circular orbit when its engines turn on to exert a small force in the direction of the velocity for a short time interval. Is the new orbit further or closer to the Earth? The ...
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1answer
385 views

Details of the new solutions to the three-body problem [closed]

This question is part of this week's Journal Club session. These systems look ridiculously fun to construct. Could someone explain the particulars? What are the various types of solutions, and ...
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1answer
98 views

Is the trajectory of the Moon around the Earth stable? [duplicate]

I understand how mathematically is possible to have one object with elliptical or circular orbit around another object in space. so can I think of it as a limit cycle? If yes, then is it stable or ...
4
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1answer
474 views

What is the precise definition of Gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI)?

I am trying to understand the gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), but all I get by searching is the formula that you can find on Wikipedia, that is $$ r_{SOI} = a \left( \frac{m}{M} ...
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1answer
91 views

Perihelion Advance in curve space

I've been doing some work that involves particle's motion subjected to central forces. I was trying to compute the perihelion advance of the particle's path. For that I've been following this ...
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3answers
117 views

Why heavier bodies produce greater gravitational pull than the lighter bodies?

The basic question "Why planets revolve around the Sun?", is explained by taking into account the heaviness of Sun. The lighter bodies are considered to move around heavier bodies,as like lighter ...
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5answers
2k views

Why the center of our galaxy doesn't absorb us?

Depending on the theories, the center of our galaxy is a super massive black hole, this is easy to accept as a truth, but what I couldn't simply devour is how the solar system is orbiting around it ...
4
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0answers
74 views

Why rendezvous attempt failed on Gemini 4? [closed]

It is said in Wikipedia, that On the first orbit, McDivitt attempted to rendezvous with the spent Titan second stage. This was unsuccessful for a number of reasons: NASA engineers had not ...
2
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2answers
216 views

Mathematical model for this graph of a simplified binary star system?

Unnecessary background for question: I had a school assignment asking us to relate a quadratic equation to a real life example relating to our future dream career, making sure to express the accuracy ...
2
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3answers
751 views

Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) to Kinetic Energy (KE) transfer in Satellite Orbits

I am stumped by a mundane A Level Physics question (teacher of physics here obviously a bit short of practice!). My colleagues and I are stumped and were wondering if any one could help us. It ...
3
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1answer
152 views

How can you calculate the tidal gradient for an orbit?

In the movie Gravity, two characters are dangling from the international space station by a long tether. I've previously wondered exactly how you could calculate the tidal forces that act on an ...
2
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1answer
69 views

What are the steps and energetic requirements for getting from the HST to the ISS?

There have been several general critiques of the realism some of the physics depicted in the movie "Gravity" notably regarding the the orbital mechanics of the transition from the Hubble Space ...
2
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0answers
86 views

How to travel between tidally locked binary planets

Two planets of roughly the same volume and mass are orbiting each other. What would be the most efficient way to travel from one to the other? Seems unlikely, but could a rocket positioned at the ...
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1answer
114 views

What is most infeasible about a sky hook (as in space travel not Batman)?

We need to get things into space but it costs too much. Lots of people talk about space elevators but no one talks about the skyhook idea. I'm referring to this: Skyhook (Wikipedia), not the thing in ...
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2answers
258 views

Intuitive explanation of why orbits are closed?

Yesterday my brother asked me how orbits work. Suppose for the sake of the question that you are trying to put a rocket in orbit around the Earth. I explained that orbiting is essentially being in ...
2
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1answer
221 views

Time it takes two oppositely charged particles to collide

I think this is supposed to be a simple problem but I am having a hang up converting it to a one-body problem. It's one-dimensional. +q and -q a distance d apart, held stationary then let go at t=0. ...
4
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2answers
191 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
4
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2answers
103 views

Is such an orbit possible that allows a satellite on Earth and another on Mars to always be in direct line-of-sight?

If not always, how much "most of the time" could it get? Or would a multi-satellites setup be more suited?
3
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2answers
2k views

Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
5
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1answer
94 views

Do all celestial objects have stationary orbit?

Do all celestial bodies of sufficient mass such big asteroids, moon, planets etc. have orbit such that the period of revolution is same as the sidereal period of that object (such as geostationary ...
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0answers
101 views

Collision of two asteroids in the main belt [closed]

If there are two asteroids $A$ and $B$ of equal mass (and density of 3000kg/m^3), with the same semi major axis of $a=$2.2 AU with asteroid $A$ having a circular orbit and no inclination, and ...
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0answers
65 views

Interpretation of a quantity from the reduced three body problem [closed]

Consider two bodies $S$ and $J$ that gravitate about their center of mass $O$, under the influence of mutual attraction. A third massless body $P$ is moving in the same plane. What is the ...
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2answers
844 views

Where does tidal energy come from?

Kind of an odd, random question that popped into my head. Tidal energy - earth's ocean movement, volcanism on some of Jupiter's moons, etc. - obviously comes from the gravitational interaction between ...
3
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2answers
167 views

Mercury's orbit

Mercury has a weird orbit, it's elliptical orbit rotates around an axis, but for no reason. My question is why? What is causing this?
3
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3answers
276 views

How does the gravity of a massive non-spherical object act on things around it?

Firstly, not sure if this question ought to be in the space SE site. Please let me know if it should. (Posted in both for now) Secondly, I don't know a whole lot about physics (I'm just inquisitive). ...
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3answers
275 views

Accelerating towards the center of your orbit

If you are in a perfectly circular orbit and accelerate perpendicular to your velocity (directly towards the center of the orbit), what would happen to your orbit? Would it just shift in the direction ...
6
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1answer
203 views

When can a natural satellite be in polar orbit around it's primary?

A circular/inclined to the equator/non-polar orbit is typical for natural satellites; apparently a consequence of the energy/velocity requirements. This is applicable to natural satellites around ...
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1answer
163 views

Calculation of 12000 Lunar Orbits/Earth Day [closed]

I am really interested in the calculation of the following speed value in meter-per-second unit: Speed of something that is able to travel in one earth day the distance that it would take for the ...
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76 views

orbitting around the earth

Does a space station need an initial velocity (tangentially) to be able to orbit around the earth or just the gravitational force acting downward on the station at certain height from the ground is ...
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3answers
223 views

If there's no atmosphere in space shielding from particles, why is not dangerous for spaceships/humans?

Some time ago I was thinking about this. We know that space is almost matter-free, and also is plenty of particles and objects orbiting around all planets and sattellites. If objects orbit around ...
3
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2answers
154 views

Orbit reversal in a gravitational well

A friend recently asked me this, and without wishing to spend a huge time thinking about it, I wondered if anyone knew the answer (or at least had an informed guess), or was familiar enough with these ...
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0answers
87 views

What causes an electron to return from a higher orbit to a lower orbit

Ultraviolet light can cause electrons from Hydrogen gas to jump from a lower energy orbit to a higher energy orbit. What causes the electrons to return from the higher energy orbit to the lower energy ...
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1answer
79 views

Why was Galilei “right”? [duplicate]

Considering that all frames are equivalent, isn't it up to the observer to say "The earth turns around the sun" or "The sun turns around the earth"? Isn't this more or less like arguing about which ...
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2answers
74 views

Possibility of low-radius orbit?

Please bear with me, as I'm not in the field of physics, this question may seem a bit simple. This question is concerning stable circular orbits around celestial bodies. I know the equation relevant ...
3
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1answer
195 views

Binary star system - Revolution around Primary vs Companion

How likely is it in a binary or multi-star system for a non-star celestial body to revolve around the primary star rather than the companion star?
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3answers
86 views

Is it possible to reach the edge of a room if there isn't any gravitational acceleration?

Consider that a large room(an indoor badminton court) is orbiting the earth with a person floating exactly at its center without any relative initial velocity. Consider that the person has no ...
2
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1answer
106 views

What are the determining factors for the velocity of orbiting bodies?

Please bear with me, as I'm not in the field of physics, this question may seem a bit simple. The scenario is the following; A specific stable orbit radius of a small body, say a satellite, to ...
3
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3answers
344 views

Are elliptical orbits really elliptical?

I have wondered for a long time how elliptical orbits can work. It seems awkward for a freely-moving object to come very close to a source of gravity and then return to the exact point where it ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does the moon or the earth revolve anti-clockwise?

The question is very simple: Why does the moon or the earth or any another planet revolve anti-clockwise? And can any planet (or satellite) revolve clockwise? What is the physical law for this ...
2
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0answers
229 views

For two planets in a 2:1 mean motion resonance , where will their periastron and apastron points be?

I want to animate the changing orbits of planets when they enter a mean motion resonance. Using a 2:1 resonance, I want to show a low-mass inner planet and a low-mass outer planet being tugged by a ...
2
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2answers
118 views

Path of Orbital Bodies

I am trying to figure out how to parametrize the path of a body under the influence of gravity from another body, but I am stuck. I have looked at the Wikipedia page on Kepler orbits, but it is ...
2
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1answer
991 views

Calculating specific orbital energy, semi-major axis, and orbital period of an orbiting body

Is it possible to calculate the specific orbital energy $ϵ$, the semi-major axis $a$, and the orbital period $T$ (or $P$) without any of them being available to you? The values I do have available to ...
2
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2answers
190 views

How do you travel in a circular orbit around a massive body?

I am trying to figure out how an object could achieve a perfectly circular orbit. Given a mass for the planet or other body the object is orbiting and a distance from the center of mass, how fast ...
2
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2answers
226 views

Is it better to build a space elevator from GEO down to the surface of the Earth?

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "The Fountains of Paradise", Clarke seems to make a distinction between starting construction of a space elevator from geosynchronous orbit and working on our ...